Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavnagar is one of the constituent research laboratories under the umbrella of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a premier research organization in India. The mission of the Institute is to generate knowledge and innovations required for efficient utilization of the coastal wasteland of the country, sea water, marine algae, solar power and silicates. The Institute also harnesses its capabilities in biosciences, chemical transformation, process engineering, environmental monitoring, separation science and analysis to address focused needs of industries and organizations in the region and beyond. Many of the patented technologies of CSMCRI have been commercially successful like Salt, Magnesia, Potash, Hollow fibre and flat sheet ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis membranes. Publication of research finding in peer reviewed journals is an integral part of the R&D activities of CSMCRI. Institute supports the Ph.D. program of Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR) floated by CSIR, New Delhi. Institute has several research projects both in basic and applied field.
At CSIR-CSMCRI Reverse Osmosis (RO) division, research program in the area of membranes was initiated in 1969 with the main aim to develop membrane technologies to meet the demand for clean water through desalination and water purification. The focus was on both- development of suitable membranes as well as the engineering hardware for a reverse osmosis desalination system. In the initial period, the focus was on the development of tubular RO membranes for brackish water desalination. Then, cellulose acetate (CA) based flat sheet asymmetric RO membrane technology was developed during 1980s. CA based membranes were prepared according to phase inversion process in a single step process under optimised conditions to obtain membranes suitable for brackish water desalination. The technology for manufacturing CA membranes was transferred to two parties in the country in late 1980.
With the view to develop more robust membranes for desalination and other applications, research work was initiated on the development of state-of-art thin film composite (TFC) RO membranes in early 1990s. Recently the technology for commercial production of TFC membranes and modules has been licensed to private manufacturers. During 2006-2010, technology for manufacturing hollow fiber ultrafiltration and microfiltration membranes was also developed and has been licensed to private manufacturer. Institute has complete set up for module making and water treatment plant installation at different levels. Now both the products flat sheet and hollow fibers are commercially made in India by our licences.
Further, research work to improve the operational life of TFC membranes through surface modification to enhance antifouling property and to increase chlorine stability, and chemical treatment of fouled RO modules to recover the performance and/ or to utilise them for less demanding desalination application are on the process. Preparation of nanofiltration membranes for water softening; membranes for chiral separations; pervaporation membranes for the separation of aqueous-organic and organic-organic liquid mixtures, forward osmosis membranes for desalination, membrane distillation for the treatment of RO concentrate, solvent resistant membranes, water treatment are also part of division’s research activities. Besides membrane, RO division also works on the development of specialty ion exchange resins and functional polymers for water purification, especially for the removal of arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, brine purification, etc.
Participating members from CSMCRI in POMACEA:
Dr. Paramita Ray
Paramita Ray completed her graduation (1982) and post- graduation (1984) in Plastics and Rubber Technology and obtained her Ph. D (Tech.) (1991) in the same branch. She is working as a Scientist in Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) since 1990 and presently holding the position of Senior Principal Scientist and Heading Reverse Osmosis Membrane Discipline and Planning Cell/ HRD/International Science and Technology affairs of CSIR-CSMCRI. Dr. Ray is also a professor in Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research-AcSIR. Dr. Ray has experience of 24 years in the area of pressure and potential driven membranes, polymer compounding and processing, telechelic polymers, polymer blends, interpenetrating polymer networks, solid polymer electrolytes etc. She has extensively worked on the development of UF, NF, RO flat sheet/ hollow fibre membranes, ion exchange and bi-polar membranes.
Dr. Nirmal Kumar Saha
Nirmal Kumar Saha is a post-graduate in chemistry (1997) and received his Ph.D. in 2007. His Ph.D. thesis was on control of membrane fouling in application of ultrafiltration membranes in sugarcane juice clarification. He joined CSIR-CSMCRI in 2008 as research associate. He is now scientist in Reverse Osmosis Membrane division of CSIR-CSMCRI. He is also assistant professor in Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research-AcSIR. His main research interests are focused on reverse osmosis membrane preparation and applications.
Dr. Suresh Kumar Jewrajka
Suresh Kumar Jewrajka is post-graduated in Chemistry (1997) from IIT Kharagpur and received a PhD in Polymer Chemistry (2005) from IACS, Kolkata. He was a postdoctoral Fellow from period of 2005-2008. He is a life membrane of IACS-Kolkata. Since 2011, he is a Scientist in Reverse Osmosis Membrane division of CSIR-CSMCRI and Assistant Professor in AcSIR. He has been involved in several in house and CSIR-network project. His current research interests are synthesis of polymer for biomedical applications and preparation of membranes such as ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, thin film composite and ion exchange membranes.
Mr. Sanjay D. Patil
Sanjay D. Patil, a post-graduate in Mechanical Engineering (2004) is a member of Association of Mechanical Engineers (India). Since 2009, he has been working as Scientist at CSIR-CSMCRI and has been involved in several Water Mission projects (Societal Mission). He is having research experience in the field of RO Plant designing, development, fabrication, installation and maintenance.His expertise includes designing of Reverse Osmosis plant as per the desired capacity for sea water and brackish water applications, characterization, trouble shooting of mechanical parts in the system. He is presently working for design and development of RO Plants for brackish and sea water for minimal power consumptions.
Mr. Hiren D. Raval
Hiren D. Raval is working as scientist in CSIR-CSMCRI since February 2010. He is also an Assistant Professor in Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research-AcSIR. He completed his post-graduation in Chemical Engineering, pursuing his doctoral program in chemical engineering and has more than 10 years of diverse experience in academia, industry and research. He is working on renewable energy powered desalination. His research interests include recycling seawater reverse osmosis membrane elements.
Dr. Soumya Haldar
Soumya Haldar is a post-graduate in Marine Biology and Oceanography and received his first Ph.D. degree in the area of marine microbiology in 2003 and his second Ph.D. degree in molecular microbiology with relation to the identification of fish diseases from Graduate School of Environmental Science, Osaka Prefecture University, Japan. He joined CSIR-CSMCRI in 2007 and at present holding the position of senior scientist in the discipline of Marine Biotechnology and Ecology. Major research area of Dr. Haldar includes environmental microbiology related to coral-bacterial interaction study, impact of pathogenic bacteria on marine environment, evaluation of antibacterial properties of different modified membranes